104.1 Industry Overview
5 book reports
Table of Content
Multimedia – A Critical Introduction
[Richard Wise, 2000, ISBN 0-415-12150-7 (hbk), 1st publication by Routledge, 11 New Fetter Lane, London]
The origins of Multimedia can be seen as a relationship between three institutions: the state including the military and intelligence agencies, the computer and media industry, and various cultural elements.
Each one of them has played a significant role in the development of multimedia as it is seen today.
After World War two the military became more and more aware of the importance of electronic warfare and research. This led to the invention of the transistor in 1948 replacing hot and fragile vacuum tubes. In the early seventies Intel produced its first microprocessor, enabling the military to place small and light–weighted control devices in the head of their rockets.
Facing the possibility of a nuclear first strike, the governmental agencies were working on a decentralized network establishing ARPANET in 1969. It is considered today the ancestor of the Internet proving once more the importance of military expenditure, caused by the Cold War and the Space Race, in laying the foundation of the multimedia industry. The ARPANET was based on packet switching and introduced as well the IP (Internet Protocol). Eventually academic and research sites, which had not originally formed part of ARPANET, also adopted the IP, as did almost every other LAN (Local Area Network) around the globe.
The history of multimedia involved another factor important to its further development, popularization, and commercial exploitation:
the American ‘counter-culture’ of the sixties and seventies.
The computer became the icon of their movement although most members were opposed to technology; it was thought to be a means of suppression by the government. Some of their leaders were Steve Jobs who went to India for enlightenment - later on to found Apple Computers - and Lotus 1-2-3 inventor Mitch Kaper, who worked as a transcendental meditation teacher. People like them considered the PC a means for the war of liberation, sensed how communities could grow together, be coordinated via computer and be given access to equal information.
The Birth of Multimedia
When the computer became cheap enough for the individual to buy, commercialism replaced idealism. Ed Roberts produced the first PC named ‘Altair’. Even though it was a build-it-yourself-kit, it became an overnight insane success. Since no software came with the computer, enthusiasts got together and exchanged information on how to get the most out of their machines. Among those who chose to make a living out of their hobby were Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniac, who founded Apple Computers and became heroes by turning their garage into a million dollar business. The consumer oriented Apple computers and its innovative...